“I’ll be stealing from Spielberg as well”: Oscar Winning Director is the Reason Why Denzel Washington Doesn’t Hesitate to Steal From Other Actors

The Equalizer star paid close attention to the advice that the Jaws director provided!

“I’ll be stealing from Spielberg as well”: Oscar Winning Director is the Reason Why Denzel Washington Doesn’t Hesitate to Steal From Other Actors


  • Known for his Oscar-winning performances, Denzel Washington is regarded as one of the greatest actors of all time.
  • Despite his numerous awards, the actor, 69, remains open to seeking advice from other prominent figures in the industry.
  • When he made the decision to work behind the camera, he once shared some advice from Steven Spielberg.
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There will be no contesting the status of Denzel Washington as one of the greatest actors of all time. With grace, the New York-born actor, 69, can consistently turn in performances worthy of an Oscar and use his box office draw to lead a string of action thrillers.


Although Washington has won two Academy Awards, three Golden Globes, two Silver Bears, and many more, it does not stop him from asking for advice when he has questions. Naturally, having an A-list status also opens doors to asking important questions with some of the most acclaimed performers in the industry.

Having said that, the actor shared some advice that Steven Spielberg once gave him when the former first decided to go behind the camera. The advice suggested that stealing is not always a bad thing. 

Denzel Washington in Fallen
Denzel Washington in Fallen

Steven Spielberg: The Mastermind Behind Denzel Washington’s Stealing Talent

Denzel Washington never only rested on the acting achievements of his career; instead, he was also producing and directing films. Although it has taken its sweet time, his directing efforts have yielded incredible results. Now that directing is one of his primary focuses, Washington shared some advice from Steven Spielberg that he probably still abides by.

The two-time Oscar winner spoke with the Financial Times in 2021 about a range of subjects, including his movie The Little Things. Soon afterward, the subject of Washington’s position as director came up. He mentioned the guidance that E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial director had given him at the beginning of his directing career, saying:

“Steven told me years ago, when I was nervous about making movies: ‘Everybody steals, Denzel, but make sure to steal from the best.’ I’ve been re-watching Coppola’s Godfather movies and stealing shots from them. And I’ll be stealing from Spielberg as well.”

Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg (via Wikimedia Commons)

Washington was refreshingly honest and forthright when he discussed being influenced by Steve Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola. The actor, like many filmmakers, drew inspiration from his predecessors. Given the films Washington has directed and produced, their styles have undoubtedly influenced him. 


Denzel Washington Almost Gave Up Acting Before Helming This Film

Many people consider Denzel Washington to be one of the most accomplished and successful actors in Hollywood. Nevertheless, despite his successes, he thought about giving up acting permanently at one point.

There is a ton of beloved and noteworthy content in his filmography. Some of them have even received Oscar nominations and wins. But as time went on, the actor began to lose faith in his professional endeavors. Not because he was not receiving work offers, but rather because the work he was receiving did not pique his interest. 

Denzel Washington in a still from The Equalizer 3
Denzel Washington in a still from The Equalizer 3

He once shared with Movie Hole:


“A couple of years ago I was really bored and I was getting some great roles but just thought I can’t do this anymore.”

His directing of the film Antwone Fisher caused this to change. Washington’s love for acting was reignited by this 2002 film, which was based on the real-life story of the titular character. The actor added:

“Directing really helped to kick start me as an actor again because I was really tired of it.”

However, Washington had to consult with other filmmakers for guidance during the project, so directing this film was not an easy task. As per Black Film, he once said.

“It was the most frightening thing I’ve ever done in my life. I was so scared. It was like once I got going, I was fine. But when I talked to other directors I was like ‘do you get sleep when you’re directing? Cause I didn’t get any.’… I had a lot of fun, a lot of fun. I would definitely do it again.”

Based on 150 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, 78% of critics gave Antwone Fisher positive reviews, suggesting that a significant number of critics gave the film a favorable response. 


We last saw Washington as Robert McCall in Antoine Fuqua’s vigilante action-thriller film The Equalizer 3. His next project is the epic historical drama film Gladiator 2, which is helmed by Ridley Scott. The movie, which is a follow-up to Gladiator (2000), also features Pedro Pascal and Paul Mescal.


Written by Siddhika Prajapati

Articles Published: 1535

Between everyday normalities and supernatural abnormalities, Siddhika Prajapati finds the story in everything. Literature Honors Graduate and Post-Graduated in Journalism (from Delhi University), her undying need to deduce the extraordinary out of simplicity makes her a vibrant storyteller.

Serving as a Senior Entertainment Writer at Fandom Wire and having written over 1500 pieces, Siddhika has also worked with multiple clients and projects over the years, including Indian Express, India Today, and Outlook Group.

Who knows, maybe your next favorite persona on the screen will be crafted by her.